Massive Spill Fills Kalamazoo River with 26,000 Gallons Of Raw Sludge
The city of Battle Creek has released a statement after discovering Battle Creek's Wastewater Treatment Plant spilled 26,600 gallons of partially treated sludge and raw sludge into the Kalamazoo River around 12 O'clock Monday morning. Apparently, the spill happened at 12:05 a.m. and was discovered by 6:20 a.m., soon after staff arrived for the day and noticed a strange smell. Luckily, the spill was contained by 6:40 a.m.
Richard Beardslee, the Wastewater Superintendent for the city of Battle Creek said in the statement:
Undoubtedly and obviously, you don’t want to put something like that in the river, but the river can handle a considerable amount of that. You just don’t want a lot of people handling that water. But it will assimilate fine.
Beardslee went on to explain how every water source has the ability to assimilate organic waste naturally:
What’ll happen is it’ll build up organic microorganisms that will feed on that waste. It’ll start reducing some of the oxygen in the water because the bacteria has to feed on that to feed on the waste so that’s the worst part of it, that it’ll lower the oxygen in the water, but at this time the oxygen level isn’t something to worry about.
The overflow was believed to happen naturally because of the rain and a back-up from the weekend when the landfill is closed and the plant can't process sludge. Luckily the drinking water for the area was not affected by the spill. With this recent incident, there are plans to add two fail-safes in case another overflow happens in the future.
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